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Most people do not realize that every convenience, every trustworthy service we use, every reliable product we buy is the result of millions of people participating in the free market and making choices from a plethora of possibilities. In every service we use, every product we buy, the free market separates the excellent from the mediocre. Unfortunately there is no free market in the public school system.

Charter Schools may be the catalyst for a new paradigm in public education. When you bring your car to be repaired or purchase a cake, you are expressing satisfaction with the service and product provided. Businesses must employ competent individuals whose work and product will attract, satisfy and fulfill the needs of consumers who have many choices and options. Patrons of public schools have no options. It matters little if parents are pleased or students educated since all children are mandated to attend by compulsory education laws.

Charter Schools nurture excellence by introducing choice and encouraging competition. Today’s teachers’ salaries are based on date of birth and not on productivity. If competition and choice were available, the parents and students would determine the value of the teachers and schools. Parents and students would select schools with the best reputation and results. Teachers would have to compete to provide the most effective learning environment to attract the most students. If a school and its teachers fail to educate, everyone would know and the free market would determine the fate of that institution. It would go the way of the Edsel.

Public schools are like the Edsel … but are protected by tenure.

 

Ed Konecnik

Flushing

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